I’ve got DragonQuest in 1st and 2nd editions (SPI: 1980, 1981) in the shop at the moment; great time for some photos.
Legacy game companies in the early 80s were trying to “catch the wave” of D&D popularity with their own FRPG releases.
See Avalon Hill’s Fantasy Role Playing Game:
I’m no expert on DQ, so I’ll point you a couple of blogs for a better idea of gameplay.
“DragonQuest used percentile dice for all its mechanics. Character creation was a mix of random generation and player choice, since the game lacked classes and used skills instead. Races were mostly standard fantasy one — human, dwarf, elf, halfling, etc. — with orcs and lycanthropes for variety. Characters could begin play under the influence of certain stars or planets, granting special bonuses or penalties, an idea I’d previously seen in Chivalry & Sorcery. Combat was astoundingly complex and pretty much demanded the use of miniatures, since it used a hex grid and facing was very important.” –Grognardia: Dragonquest Retrospective
“Certainly, something was possessing SPI around the turn of the 80’s. They had a boardgame about the demons from the Lesser Key of Solomon, and worked some of those names into their Citadel of Blood adventure game. And yes, there’s a whole school of DQ demon summoning that ramps up to 16 pages of fully powered Goetic infernal royalty.” –Roles, Rules, & Rolls: The Awesome Pain in the Ass That Was DragonQuest
Dragonquest, 1st edition (1980)
Dragonquest, 2nd edition (1981)
1st and 2nd edition Combat chapters
See also: DragonQuest Fan Page by Snafaru – Lots of resources, including the “lost” Fourth DQ Book: Arcane Wisdom.